PACKAGES of drugs, digital weighing scales, gloves, resealable plastic bags and garden tools were recovered by gardai at the scene of an alleged “drugs factory” on waste ground in Moyross, Limerick Circuit Court has heard.
Gardai attached to the divisional drug and search units were giving evidence in the trial of 41-year-old John McCarthy, of Cliona Park, Moyross, who denies having €145,000 worth of heroin for sale or supply on the grounds of the Castlepark estate on October 15, 2010.
It is the state’s case that McCarthy had been seen during a Garda surveillance operation entering an area of ruins known as the Four Walls and that when gardai had followed after a period of observation, the accused had run from the scene.
Det Garda Viv Downey gave evidence that he had been designated the exhibits officer in the investigation.
Det Garda Downey told John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that he had placed a large number of items recovered at the Four Walls in evidence bags and labelled them. These had included three parcels of a brown powdery substance suspected to be heroin; two digital weighing scales; two pairs of black woollen gloves; a number of rolls of brown tape; a packet of bun cases; a shovel and a brown trowel. These items were all strewn about the scene of the Four Walls, the court heard. The suspected drugs packages had been sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory in Dublin for analysis.
Shane O’Callaghan BL, for Mr McCarthy, asked whether his client’s fingerprints were found on any of the items he had preserved as evidence at the scene.
“Not to my knowledge,” Det Garda Downey replied.
Sergeant Seamus O’Neill gave evidence that he had been asked to take part in the search of the area and had found another three packages between the base of a tree and a wall. These had been covered over with dry leaves and loose stones, Sgt O’Neill said.
The jury had earlier heard that two men - 19-year-old Adam Llewellyn, of Craeval Park, Moyross and James O’Keeffe, 21, of Moylish Crescent, Ballynanty - had been arrested at the scene after detectives backed by armed gardai had moved in on the area of the Four Walls.
According to Garda Barry O’Brien, a member of an armed Garda unit, a third man he identified as John McCarthy had been “no more than 20 metres away”, when he had entered the area through a gap in the wall ruins.
“I had a very clear view of him; he was facing me, ” said Garda O’Brien, adding he was in “no doubt” as to McCarthy’s identity.
The accused had turned and ran towards trees before Garda O’Brien had the opportunity to shout a warning, the court heard. Garda O’Brien was the only member to have seen McCarthy within the Four Walls area, Judge Carroll Moran was told.
Det Garda Downey and Garda Mark McGauley said they had been at an observation point in the area and had also seen John McCarthy enter the Four Walls area.
Det Garda Downey told Brian McCartney QC, for the accused, that he did not take any photographs or video of Mr McCarthy during the surveillance operation. He denied that this was because he did not recognise the defendant.
“I am definite about who I recognised that day,” said Det Garda Downey.
The prosecution case continues before a jury of six men and six women.